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U23s 2-1 Ipswich - report

15 August 2016

United's U23s kicked off their Professional Development League Two campaign with a victory over Championship opposition at the SteelPhalt Academy on Monday afternoon.


A penalty from skipper Ben Whiteman put the Blades in front in the first-half at Shirecliffe, only for the Tractor Boys to level early in the second period, before Louis Reed won it with a fine strike following a quickly taken free-kick.


The victory comes 48 hours after the U18s won at Coventry City, to complete an excellent start for United's development age group and Academy Manager Travis Binnion was delighted with the application of both teams in the respective successes.


Focusing on the win over Ipswich, Binnion commented: "For long periods we were the better and looked in control.


"We could have been two or three goals up at the break, but having conceded and been a bit flat at the beginning of the second-half the lads responded positively to run out worthy winners in the end."


He added: "It is a very encouraging start for both groups; the final scores would suggest the games have been tight, when they have probably been a lot more comfortable then they look.


"So killing games off is something we need to work on, but that will come the more we play and the more we are able to work with the players on the training ground."


Having already had a couple of opportunities, the home side took the lead in the 17th minute with WHITEMAN firing home from the penalty spot after Wright was fouled in the box by Malarczyk.


Despite having controlled proceedings throughout the first period, United were slow out of the blocks after the break and Town deservedly equalised just before the hour to leave the game in the balance.


But the response to that concession was excellent and with less than 20 minutes some quick thinking from a set-piece won the game for the hosts, with REED firing home confidently from 20 yards out giving Crowe in the Town goal no chance.


The latter stages weren't pretty but the Blades dug in and hung for the win.


Blades: Ramsdale, Charlesworth, Kelly (Graham 45), Brooks, Semple, K. Wallace, Reed, Whiteman, Wright JNR, Calvert-Lewin (Crofts 72), Woolford (K. Smith 59).
Unused: Perryman, Hall.